So, I've recently gotten bitten by the Skyrim bug. It's great... I can't recommend it enough! Less than 2 months in, and over 160 hours played speaks for itself. I did find one area lacking- and software made to fix it lacking also. I've come to the point where I want to play another character, and there is no interface to manage that.
Software that I create tends to come from need and something to learn, and those to crossed enough that I've been working on the Skyrim Character Manager instead of playing for the past couple of weeks. It helps to manage multiple characters and their files, and also adds some place to store information on the characters. It's usable currently, though I'm not ready to release it yet. I wanted to get some input on some of the features first.Request for Help from Skyrim Players
This is the primary screen. It is divided into separate parts: The toolbar area with separate toolbars for managing characters and references, the character grid that lists all characters stored in the database, the character files which lists all active and inactive files for the selected character, and the character details that has space for other details about the selected character.
The main toolbar holds all of the controls for managing the character. The data group contains all commands related to managing the actual database, i.e. adding a record, entering edit mode, and deleting. The editing group contains supplemental database commands, i.e. saving data and canceling edits, and refreshing the data from the database.
The files group contains commands related to the files for the selected character, i.e. refreshing the list of files from the disk, activating a character and deactivating a character.
Finally, the tools group contains miscellaneous commands to launch skyrim, initialize a character after first creating the data record, backing up the character files, and entering the settings.
The reference toolbar contains commands for launching various reference sites that I've found useful, and the help and obligatory about this application.
Before I go on to the other areas of the application, I thought it worth discussing the design behind the application. The application attempts to pair up data stored in a database to the location of files on the disk. It uses the location of the Skyrim save games to facilitate this. Each character has a directory underneath the main skyrim save path. When a character is initialized, all saves related to that character are copied to this directory. When a character is deactivated, all files with that character's name are moved from the main directory to that directory. When a character is activated, all of the files from that directory are copied back to the main directory. The only operation that involves removing files from the drive is the deactivation. All others leave any files that are not overwritten in place.Request for Help from Skyrim Players
The character and character files area shows all of the characters, and when each is selected, shows that character's files both active, and inactive, on separate tabs.Request for Help from Skyrim Players
The bottom area of the application holds purely fluff related data points in relation to the background of a character.What I need help on
So far, I've made this to what I want, but I'll take any suggestions from what I've outlined. What I really had questions in regards to was file management. I've taken a very cautious approach. Backups are always taken from the main directory and copied to whatever backup location is specified, assuming that those are the most recent saves. The only operation that removes files is the deactivation of a character. Other operations don't clear out the files there before performing their operation. By default, the application asks you before every overwrite. And even after creating a character, you have to manually initialize the directory before that character can be managed. Is this overkill?